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Page history last edited by Wesley Fryer 14 years, 1 month ago

Stop Motion Filmmaking 


Stop motion videos are fun and relatively easy to make. If you've seen a "flip book" used to create animation, you've got the basic idea of stop motion movies. Different props can be used for stopmotion movies including legos, lincoln logs, modeling clay, or other materials. The key is using a tripod to keep the camera still! In this multi-day workshop we'll learn about stopmotion movies, see lots of examples for inspiration and ideas, and spend most of our time CREATING our own stopmotion movies using digital cameras and computers! Requirements for participation include lots of creative ideas, enthusiasm, a desire to have fun, and a willingness to collaborate with others!


Read more about Stop Motion on WikiPedia.


Upcoming and Past Workshops:

Required Equipment:

  1. Digital camera, a webcam, or a digital videocamera and computer cable
  2. Tripod (if using a camera not built into a laptop)
  3. Stopmotion software: Free SAM Animation software (commercial alternatives include Frames and iStopMotion)
  4. Computer
  5. Stuff to make interesting stopmotion movies: Yarn, modeling clay with pipe cleaners, styrofoam and foil; lincoln logs; legos; Rescue Heroes; Small creative play kits (NASA characters and equipment, My Little Pony) etc. 
  6. Optional but a good idea:
    1. A backdrop to add visual interest/details and simplify shots
    2. Tape to secure set items in place (particularly good for a lego base board)

Example StopMotion Movies:

  1. Day 1
    1. Lego Beatles
    2. DEADLINE post-it note stopmotion (A college student's end-of-course project - 3 months to plan, 4 days to video, 6000+ sticky notes to make)
    3. Go-gurt TV advert - music : The Young Punx - "You've got to"
    4. We Will Rock You (in Lego!!!!)

    5. Lonely Soles (in QuickTime format - originally from the Tech4Learning site I think)

  2. Day 2
    1. The Letter --- Animated Lego Film!
    2. Wind - (use yarn strings) See more student-created stopmotion films on The Longfellow Ten
    3. The Customer is Always Right (An Brickfilm example about a funny Best Buy request - More on BrickFilms)
  3. Day 3
    1. Store Wars Join The Organic Rebellion! 
    2. Imagine (good example of claymation)
  4. Others:
    1. Top 10 LEGO Movie Tributes on YouTube
    2. 10 Best LEGO Music Videos on YouTube
    3. Wesley's YouTube Stopmotion Playlist
    4. Under Pressure LEGO
    5. Brickfilms 2007 (a montage of Brickfilm scenes)
    6. California Raisins II -- Raisins: Sold Out! (professional stopmotion - on YouTube)
    7. A Day On The Moon (105 pictures, music from the Podsafe Music Network, took 2 hours to complete start to finish)
    8. StopMotion Western Classics (The Adventures of White Hat and Ropey)
    9. LEGO Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul
    10. iStopMotion examples

Tutorials and Resources

  1. How to use SAM Animation software (videos)
  2. How to Make Your Own BrickFilm - (more tutorials from BrickFilms for lego stopmotion films are available)
    1. recommends 15 fps (frames per second) as a compromise between 5 fps (choppy) and 30 fps (very time-intensive)
  3. For music/sound resources, we'll create our own using microphones, SAM software or Audacity, Garageband, or use Creative Commons licensed/free music sources.
  4. Removing wires from scenes (requires free photo editing software like The Gimp or Seashore)
  5. Making FlipClips (website that will print flipbooks from stopmotion movies)

Introduced Skills and Concepts

Day 1

  1. Basic use of SAM software
    1. take snapshots
    2. reorder snapshots
    3. duplicate snapshots
    4. export finished video
  2. Intermediate SAM software techniques
    1. insert background music
    2. trim length of background audio
  3. Other
    1. Use drawn background
    2. keep camera/tripod still
    3. use handwritten thought or dialog bubbles

Day 2

  1. Dramatic Structure
  2. Storyboarding (using dramatic structure)
  3. Adding text to frames using SAM software
  4. Adding Audio
    1. Finding copyleft music online
    2. Recording audio narration with Audacity

Day 3

  1. Animating with Clay

Other StopMotion Sites

  1. BrickFilms (lego stopmotion films)
  2. Student-created stopmotion animation films from the BBC
  3. Claymation movie examples from Kevin
  4. StopMotion Animation (WikiPedia definition)
  5. Great additional links are available from Tech4Learning (maker of Frames and the Clay Animation Kit)
  6. Top 10 LEGO Movie Tributes on YouTube

Links to Summer 2008 StopMotion Movies created in this workshop: (all in QuickTime format)

  1. All our completed films are also posted to YouTube on a special channel: www.youtube.com/fpcstopmotion
  2. Dino-Death - 19 sec
  3. The Unexpected Champion (also available on YouTube) - 1 min, 16 sec
  4. The Great Fight on Mars - 23 sec
  5. Puppet Goes Boom - 23 sec
  6. The Rescue - 34 sec (Hannah Rose and Grace)
  7. The Horse's Revenge - 27 sec
  8. A Day On The Moon (also available on YouTube) - 1 min, 20 sec
  9. The Race - 18 sec (Julianna and Brooke)
  10. The Trophy - (also available on YouTube) - 1 min, 54 sec (A continuation, part 4 if you will, of The Continuing Adventures of White Hat and Ropey)
  11. Western - 16 sec


Additional links about stopmotion filemaking are available on Wesley's social bookmarks for \"stopmotion.\"


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